Macedonia parliament fails to expel ex-PM as lawmaker

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonian lawmakers have fallen short of votes needed to expel former conservative prime minister Nikola Gruevski as a member of parliament, complicating a corruption case against him.

Parliament voted 58-29 Friday to revoke Gruevski's mandate, but failed to secure the required two-thirds majority in the 120-seat assembly.

The 48-year-old politician served as prime minister from 2006 to 2016 and is currently a parliament member of the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party.

Gruevski was sentenced in May to two years in prison for unlawfully influencing Interior Ministry officials over the purchase of a luxury vehicle at an estimated cost of 600,000 euros ($680,000).

He has appealed the decision and has requested that the prison sentence be deferred, citing parliamentary duties.

It was unclear how Friday's vote would affect Gruevski's fate.